The morning rush was over at Harbor City Diner…
Riley Woods looked up from her Art History homework and into the most handsome face she had seen all day. They hadn’t been together long, but Riley could already tell that Jake Conley meant more to her than any of her previous boyfriends had. He was easy-going, always called when he said he would, and didn’t mind that her schedule was a little crazy. Between taking care of her Grandmother, the Diner and keeping up with her classes, she didn’t have a whole lot of time to devote to their relationship. Although it seemed like they were seeing even less of each other than usual lately and she didn’t know why…
She winked at her boyfriend as he made his way up to the counter. “Hey there, stranger. What can I get for you?”
“Hey Darlin’, I’ll take a triple barbecue burger, fries and a Coke” He sat down on the bar stool and brushed some dirt off of the shoulder of his red and black plaid flannel shirt. His sleeves were rolled up displaying the tattoos he had on both of his muscular forearms.
Riley couldn’t help but stare a little bit and let out a sigh as she turned around to put his order in to Maurice Griffin, the Harbor City Diner’s long time cook. Nobody made a burger like Maurice – he had trained the other two cooks, but their burgers never turned out nearly as good. She had told him once that when he retired they were going to have to move the diner to his house, so the regulars could still get the coveted sandwiches.
Heading back to the counter, she noticed that Jake was playing with his phone again. For someone who didn’t really take to electronics, he sure was on that thing a lot. She didn’t want to ask who he was texting all of the time, she figured it wasn’t really her place. They had only been dating a few months and she didn’t want to seem like she was the jealous type. She made a point to start cleaning the counter a few feet away so she didn’t seem like she was snooping in what he was doing, but it took everything she had not to sneak a peak.
They were heading to the Harbor City Winter Festival over in Sunset Cove Park after her shift was over. Riley had been looking forward to today all week. Heck, she had been looking forward to this for the past two weeks.
‘Has it really been that long since I’ve seen Jake?’ Riley thought as she moved the red plastic napkin holder out of the way to wipe up a spot of ketchup from the counter. She thought back to when they had met three months ago, remembering the first time she had seen him always put a smile on her face.
She had been out with her best friend Ashley DeBeers, celebrating Ashley’s bachelorette party. Ashley was getting married to her high school sweetheart, Garrett Armstrong, in a few months. Riley had never liked the former quarterback and he wasn’t a fan of her’s either either. Ashley had told her that Garrett had thrown a fit when she told him that Riley was going to be her Maid-of-honor, but Ashley put her foot down.
Riley looked at the clock, she still had an hour left in her shift. She was anxious to get going with Jake to the festival – she was finally going to get to meet Jake’s son. Jake had been reluctant at first to let her meet Shane Santiago, his six year old son with his ex girlfriend Maria Santiago, so it meant a lot to Riley that he was finally introducing them.